This app could change how you use your Roku

    Unification is the predominant theme for cord-cutting in 2020. Rathing than bouncing between a half-dozen or extra streaming apps, we’ll see extra makes an attempt at funneling all our subscriptions into one huge TV information.

    The newest effort comes from Reelgood, which simply launched a nifty new distant management characteristic for Roku gadgets. When you discover one thing to look at in Reelgood’s streaming information apps for iPhone or Android, you possibly can press a button and launch the video immediately in your Roku participant or good TV.

    I’ve been utilizing a pre-release model of Reelgood’s new app this week, and whereas I bumped into some points with a handful of providers, it labored flawlessly with content material from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Tubi, and Crackle. Roku itself doesn’t present something like this, so utilizing Reelgood’s distant app is perhaps even higher than navigating with an precise distant.

    Remote management trickery

    If you’re not acquainted with Reelgood, the app supplies common search, suggestions, and a watchlist to your streaming providers. Select the providers that you just use, and you’ll browse for motion pictures and reveals throughout all of them on the identical time. Reelgood may also tailor its suggestions over time primarily based on what you’ve added to your watchlist.

    In the previous, Reelgood was siloed off from streaming gadgets similar to Roku gamers or Amazon Fire TV Sticks. You might use Reelgood’s cell app or web site to trace reveals or get suggestions, however in the end you’d nonetheless have to choose up a separate distant and wade by way of a bunch of menus to achieve the precise content material. (One exception: You might use Reelgood to launch different movies apps in your telephone, then launch video in your TV through Chromecast.)

    With the distant management characteristic, Reelgood is now not an island. You simply choose a film or present within the Reelgood app, then choose any Roku in your Wi-Fi community for playback. Roku will then launch the suitable app and cargo the film or present you’ve chosen. Reelgood’s cell app even supplies a digital distant management, so you possibly can pause, quick ahead, or rewind with out reaching for the bodily Roku distant.

    Jared Newman / IDG

    Reelgood’s app will routinely discover any Roku gadgets on the identical community, so you possibly can ship content material to them.

    Eli Chamberlin, Reelgood’s head of product and design, mentioned through e mail that the corporate is utilizing some trickery to make this occur. When you choose a film or present within the cell app, Reelgood transmits a set of identifiers for that content material to the Roku, comparable in nature to hyperlinks on the net. Roku doesn’t formally present this information to app makers, so Reelgood has completed a number of information mining to determine which identifiers will immediate a specific video to launch.

    “We have indexed so much content from various services, along with many different types of content identifiers, that we can construct many different permutations of these links to see what works,” Chamberlin mentioned. “We’re currently wading our way through each and every service, combining different data we collect to get ones that launch the content successfully.”

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